Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rough night

Stefan was fussy for most of last night. This means I was up for most of the night. I nursed him several times, then changed his diaper and saw some irritation so thought this was the cause for his distress. He was still very irritable hours after the fresh diaper and diaper cream, and I finally had the brilliant idea to check his mouth for new teeth. Voila! One top tooth just broken through the gums, and another one on its way. Mommy figured it out!

Monday, May 19, 2008

New paintings

I have not had time recently to paint, but I did do this acrylic painting a few weeks ago, following the sale of two other paintings at Maylin's school silent auction in April. I was thinking of selling this on as soon as I get a few more done, but if there are any takers now, let me know. It's done on 12x12 gallery-wrapped canvas (no need to frame). These are great for kids' rooms.

New Stefan photos on flickr!

Smiling for Mommy
Originally uploaded by Caroline in Paris.
My baby boy Stefan at eight and a half months! Isn't he a dream? Do you see his two teeth? He's had them for about two months. This guy loves feeding himself Cheerios and took an instant liking to silken tofu, too. Still crawling and cruising. Mommy's happy that he's not falling as much as he used to. Click on photo to go straight to my flickr site for more photos.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Stefan's sleeping patterns have been uncharacteristically inconsistent for the last few days. I have trouble getting him down for naps, and each night is completely different. He might sleep nine hours straight, or wake up three times in the middle of the night. The latter has obvious effects on my mood, especially in the evenings. I typically nurse Stefan to sleep between 7 and 8 pm. I often fall asleep during this process and nine times out of ten get awakened by Maylin, who I made promise never to wake me up unless there's an emergency. In this scenario, I turn into this big and hairy green monster with fangs dripping with saliva. I get pretty nasty -- yelling at Maylin or John for the most trivial things -- resulting in Maylin crying (and my comforting her afterwards and apologizing) or John...hmmm, I don't know what he does. Sometimes he'll say something that will just tick me off further, or he'll just leave me alone which is always the wisest thing to do in these cases. Do other mothers behave this way? I don't remember my mom ever yelling at me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mr. Cruiser

Stefan is cruising already! For those of you who are not familiar with baby development terminology, "cruising" refers to a sort of walking along the furniture movement. Hands walking along the furniture (usually a couch or low table), and feet following at the same time. He also does it along the side of his crib. Stefan's just over 8 months and it looks like he'll be walking soon! It's hard to believe. Maylin was very cautious and didn't start walking until 14 months.

Stefan's increased mobility is a very good excuse for my not keeping up with e-mails and my blog and my photography and all my other projects (I've nearly forgotten my "Little Turnip" art business -- alas, it is on the backburner.) These little guys are so accident prone at this stage that Mommies have to be on constant watch.

Cheerios are still Stefan's favorite solid food. (He started eating them last Friday.) So funny that he's totally bypassed the mushy food stage. I tried mushing up some cooked carrots and he had his gagging reflex again. Can't blame my cooking -- all I did was boil some water.

Mommy distraught yesterday

Maylin and I had an awkward conversation yesterday morning at the bus stop. For some reason, I started talking about how she was more likely to listen to her teacher than to me. She was in silent agreement. And then, stupid me, I asked, "Does this mean you like her more than you like me?" Her reply which messed me up for the next six hours, "I'm not sure." I kept pestering her to make up her mind as I should not have done, but her reply was always the same. She was not in good humor boarding the bus and neglected to wave and smile to me from the window as she normally does. Broke my heart!

I told John about it immediately afterwards and he told me to forget about it, that kids don't know what they're talking about. I strongly disagreed. Especially when it comes to feelings, children can be more sincere than anyone else. Which is why this really bothered me. I did not bring up the subject with Maylin again after school and probably will never do it again. I'm happy that she likes her teacher so much and will just have to regard it as a different kind of love than the one she has for her Mommy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Shame on me

Sorry to have ignored you all for so long. These days, blogging isn't too much of a priority for me, but now I realize that if I don't do this, Maylin and Stefan won't be able to read about what they were like during this period. Because I will surely forget all the fine details.

- Maylin had her last ballet and tap classes for the school year a couple weeks ago. She was getting bored and I was not terribly impressed with the teacher, though she came highly recommended on the Berkeley Parents Network (online recommendations and advice). Her second session seemed like a repeat of the first session, with no visible progression in the teaching. Maylin seemed to be more coordinated and confident in the second session, but she was doing the same steps, and the teacher was not teaching them the proper terms -- they were a bit dumbed down. Fine for 3 year-olds, but 5-7 year-olds can definitely pick up a few French words (and this was the age group she was teaching to). Anyways, Maylin is really looking forward to starting "more serious" ballet classes in the fall. I even got her to get her hair cut (I've been working on that for months) by saying that if we cut it now, it would be the perfect length for ballet in the fall. She seemed to think that was a very acceptable reason. Phew.
- Stefan had his 8-month doctor's appointment yesterday and he is now 19 pounds (40th percentile) and 29 inches tall (80th percentile). He's been crawling for almost a month, so I found out that he was advanced for his age. He's been pulling himself up and can "walk" with his hands on his toddler piano (on legs) as I drag it forward. He can't help but start walking when I do this. It was so exciting to see his move one foot forward, then the other for the first time. I told the doctor he still wasn't eating solids (makes "yuck" faces and gags when I try to feed him baby food) and she told me to have him try finger foods. I hadn't thought he was ready for it, but lo an behold, that day he fed himself his first Cheerio! He's still not completely gung-ho on solids, but he's getting there. He had a few more Cheerios today, and a few small nibbles of silken tofu. Awesome.
- Maylin's constantly writing and illustrating her own little books. I'm just starting to realize that I was doing the same thing at her age. But she's also painted some beautiful canvases and done some nice clay work. We've got some nice air-hardening clay at home, but she also just started a pottery class last week. She got a lot done -- a cute tile of Stefan (drawing and name) and two pinch pots. I made a little "cookie" of a little girl that the teacher really liked and thought was worth keeping (to turn into a Christmas ornament).
- I saw a funny thing the other morning: a small bird on the curb repeatedly jumping head first into the hubcap of our neighbor's minivan. I only noticed this because I kept hearing this odd pecking sound -- a little beak!
- I really haven't been doing much photography, but made a little painting for my "Little Turnip" shop (which will be up and running on once I compile a reasonnable amount of work). It's in the same vein as the two painting that were sold at Maylin's school silent auction last month. 12x12 gallery-wrapped canvas, cute cartoony animal in acrylic, animal name in script and in French on the bottom. Wondering if I should first try to sell them locally to boutiques to save myself the hassle of shipping these things. I will try to post photos this week.
- Stefan has been waking up at around 3 or 4 am, and he usually goes back to sleep quite easily after nursing, but I am not always able to fall back asleep -- major sleep deprivation, my other excuse for not blogging regularly.
- Working hard to get a date arranged with John -- almost happened last week until Maylin invited herself along. I couldn't say "no" when she cried so hard and begged to come with us to the restaurant. She's pretty persuasive.